Proxy server vs. VPN

We’ve talked about both proxy serves and virtual private networks (VPNs) before.  I was recently asked to clarify the difference between the two. I’ll try to do that in the simplest way possible.

Both a proxy server and a VPN can provide you with a level of privacy when using the Internet. When you access a site, your Internet service provider submits a request to that site that identifies where the request is coming from. If you use a proxy server, that request will be submitted from another computer and your actual IP address is never revealed.

A proxy can also allow you to block restrictions to accessing content imposed by your workplace or school and to access content that might only be available to residents of a particular county, like videos. Be aware that more and more sites look for proxy servers and can sometimes block content if they detect one.

Proxy servers don’t encrypt your content, so it could be vulnerable.

A Virtual Private Network also routes you through another computer. However, it will encrypt all of the content. Encryption can slow things down a bit while streaming or downloading.

You can find free and paid versions of proxy servers and VPN services.

If you’d like to dive a little deeper into the topic and explore the types of proxy servers and what they can do for you, follow this link:

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